Russian Navy Proceeds With Bulava SSBN

The Russian Navy is continuing it’s development of the SS-N-30 Bulava Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile, despite numerous setbacks in the flight test phase.  As of December 2009, there were 12 confirmed flight tests of the SS-N-30, with 7 being ruled failures, and perhaps 4 others not meeting all of the test parameters.  The Bulava is designed to carry 10 MIRV to a distance of 8000 kilometers.  Other sources suggest that the Bulava has a range of 10,000 km, and  carries a 550 kT yield nuclear warhead. Another school estimates up to six MIRVs may be mounted by removing removing warhead shielding and decoys. Thus the warhead data is unclear at this time.

What may be said is that the Russians are full bent on upgrading their aging SSBN fleet, as the Bulava requires a new class of SSBN, being to large to be retrofitted onto existing classes.  Having said that, the Typhoon-Class Dmitry Donskoi was retrofitted in at least one tube to take the Bulava, in order to act as test bed until the Borelei class comes on line.  For more information on the Borei class, see the proceeding post. Whether the two remaining Typhoons will be retrofittied to use the Bulava remains to be seen, but that would be a logical move if Russian Navy finances allow.


4 Responses to “Russian Navy Proceeds With Bulava SSBN”

    February 16, 2010 at 08:02

    I realise that form is dependant upon function, but the Bulava 47 sure looks like a Trident on the outside, doesn’t it? If they are too big to fit in a Typhoon, Boreis must be huge! I realise that a typhoon is really two Echos flying in close formation inside a casing, but still. Ah, well, the Russians have always prefered the huge and simple, to the small and complex.

    We best get cracking on the OHIO replacement.

  2. February 16, 2010 at 13:15

    I wonder if they are not doing to us now what we did to them when Ragen was in power. You know, pour money into defense projects while your principal foe is economically weak and cannot respond in kind. We are at a point where we cannot respond to this new weapons system with the appropriate counters, those being a more capable and better Attack Submarine AND fixed and Airborne ASW assets that can neutralize something of this nature. Our debt load and the current mindset towards pouring money into social programs of marginal value have many a Liberal wanting to raid the Defense budget instead of investing back into these kinds of long term development programs. So, we cannot respond and they will have their way once they get all this going, if they get it all going. The tables have been turned on us and I thought we won the Cold War.

    BT: Jimmy T sends.

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